Pennsylvania Pro-Family Forces Dig In Against Gay Agenda
- Bill Fancher Agape Press
- 2003 16 Oct
Attacks on traditional marriage and the Boy Scouts of America, along with a pro-homosexual rights bill in the Pennsylvania State Assembly, are creating difficulties for pro-family activists -- but one spokeswoman says it's worth the struggle.
In Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty Boy Scouts Council is still under attack by intolerant homosexual activists and their supporters. In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America (scouting.org), as a private organization, is free to set membership-selection criteria, including rules that prohibit homosexuals from serving as Scout leaders. Since that ruling, several national and regional donors to the Scouts have reduced or eliminated their contributions.
While the Cradle of Liberty Council continues to struggle to defend against legal challenges because of its policies, the United Way of Philadelphia has already withdrawn $400,000 in support from the Boy Scouts, while the Pew Charitable Trust has withheld another $100,000 from the scouting organization.
And now, because of a pro-homosexual "Fair Practices Discrimination Ordinance," the nation's third largest Boy Scouts council, which serves 87,000 youths in Philadelphia, Delaware and Montgomery Counties, is about to lose its long-term lease permitting the Scouts' free use of city-owned property -- a mutually beneficial agreement the city and the Scouts have enjoyed since 1928.
Diane Gramley, director of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania (afaofpa.org), says restraining homosexual activism is one tough fight. According to the pro-family leader, homosexual activists in her state are making headway in promoting the homosexual agenda -- attacking the Boy Scouts, trying to undermine or redefine marriage, and pushing for special protection rights in the state legislature.
One of the bills favoring "homosexual rights" is aimed at colleges and universities, including Christian schools. Gramley says the legislation is an attempt to add wording to anti-discrimination statutes for educational institutions to include "sexual orientation and gender identity or expression."
According to Gramley, this legislation would not only regulate policies regarding homosexual individuals in secular schools, but would directly affect Christian colleges as well. "There is no religious exemption," she says, "meaning [all schools] would have to allow open homosexuals in as students, and they could not hinder them in any way in openly proclaiming their homosexuality, even on campus."
Gramley says Pennsylvania's pro-family groups are fighting back, but homosexual activists are making definite progress in the state.